I’ve told this blog’s ‘origin story’ a few times over the last couple of years.

My blog started one bright, sunny Saturday morning in March 2012 at an unlikely place – my local Catholic church.

Stay with me.

I had dropped off my then eight-year-old son at church for his obligatory catechism lessons to prepare him for his First Holy Communion.

It didn’t make sense to leave and then return in one hour, so I decided to stay behind. While waiting in my car, an inner voice prompted, no compelled me to begin writing. Now, I’m a woman of faith, so given where I was at the time (the church’s parking lot), I believed that inner voice was divine prompting.

So, I whipped open my Blackberry device and started writing an article on communication. I became so engrossed in writing that I wasn’t aware when an hour passed. It took several exasperated knocks on my car’s windowpane and my son yelling my name for me to realise he had finished his classes and wanted to go home. Reluctantly, I saved the article, turned off my phone, and attended to him.

Back at home, after settling him in along with my five-year-old daughter, I sat in front of my trusty, old desktop and finished the article. Knowing nothing about blog design, I googled free blog platforms and settled for Blogspot. I promptly signed up for a free account, chose a name for the blog, and posted my first article. From typing the first word on my Blackberry to publishing the article online, the entire process took eight hours –precious time divided between lunch, dinner, and other chores. My children checked on me from time to time and whined about my still being at my computer for hours. But I was determined not to sleep until that blog was live.

And so, the Rethinking Business Communications Blog was born on 24 March 2012.  Six years later, I migrated from Blogspot to a self-hosted WordPress site. I needed a more ‘serious’ website to boost my growing personal brand and business communication training side business.

Over the last ten years, I’ve blogged every month regardless of the circumstances. I’ve blogged through unemployment, formal employment, and launching my side business. I’ve blogged through a third pregnancy and through writing (and publishing) a bestseller. I’ve blogged through health concerns, and in 2020, through the loss of my beloved father.

Now, I’ve written over 127 articles and provided undisputed value in all. (You could check out the blog archives or type keywords/phrases in the ‘Search this bog’ box in the sidebar to find relevant articles).  But I’d never forget my first post. And I vividly remember the sense of achievement I felt after I clicked ‘Publish’ and my post became live. I was thrilled to blog about what I’d become passionate about – business communication.

And I’m thankful that the thrill has remained throughout the years.

Therefore, in celebration of a decade of blogging on business communication, sprinkled with management issues and workplace dynamics, below are three life lessons I’ve learned:

1) Discipline trumps motivation, inspiration, and passion

I knew I needed to be consistent from my first article, but I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. So, I ignored conventional advice about blogging daily, weekly or bi-weekly, and I settled for a doable schedule of posting at least one blog each month.

In the earlier years, blogging monthly was easy since the euphoria of delving deep into business communication was strong enough to sustain my drive. I even blogged twice or three times a month in some instances. However, after a few years, it became somewhat a chore. It was no small feat to churn out informed, engaging, and helpful articles constantly. Moreover, the pressure required me to read voraciously and draw learning points from others’ experiences and what I observed in society. (My husband’s workplace tales of woe also became fertile fodder for my management posts and communication ‘how to’ articles).

Inevitably, there were times I didn’t ‘feel’ like blogging. I was too tired, stressed, or had no inspiration. Fortunately, I recognised the danger and forced myself to continue. Even after the caesarian delivery of my third child from which I needed to recover, I blogged. Then years later, after unexpectedly losing my father, I still wrote; blogging about the lessons he taught me about communication was actually therapeutic.

I never knew I had it in me to persevere in blogging. But I’ve realised that discipline overrides everything else – motivation, passion, or inspiration. Becoming disciplined in one aspect of your life builds your stamina, guarantees results, and sharpens your critical thinking.

Don’t wait for inspiration to write or the ‘right’ circumstances to improve your communication skills. Start where you are. Start now. But keep going.

Commit to discipline, and the others will follow.

2) Learning opens doors

I was an unemployed mother of two when I began this blog. Nevertheless, I did have prior work experience. I’d worked at the Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish Trade Council in Nigeria for four years as a commercial officer and business developer. Concurrently, I worked for two years at the Nigerian-Swedish Chamber of Commerce as its first executive secretary. Then I resigned to focus on my family. I was told that was an unwise move, but I needed the break, and frankly, I needed a career change. Before I began the blog, I often read articles and observed how leaders communicated. Then I’d complain aloud to my husband and wonder why effective communication was problematic. So, I’d already developed an interest in the field.

However, as I continued to blog, I eventually began to read more resources and learn more techniques. I became hungry for knowledge. The more I read and blogged, the more I wanted to read and blog. As a result, my critical skills became sharpened, as did my writing, persuasive abilities, and speaking skills.

I learn new things in business communication every day. Keeping informed about insights and best practices has increased my knowledge and led me to connect with intelligent, driven people across borders. Continuous learning has also helped me become well-rounded in different aspects of the field.

In this globalised world, as you continue to network, ask questions, and expose yourself to different thinking, this happens: You’d expand your reach and increase collaboration with people who appreciate you and challenge you to dream bigger and to attempt bold, daring feats. 

3) Communication is a critical differentiator in life

I’m biased, but I cannot think of any field where excellent communication skills would not announce you from afar, sharpen your credibility, amplify your influence, and inspire mass movements.

You can differentiate yourself from others and generate massive support through speech. Below are excellent examples based on current affairs:

I) President Volodymyr Zelensky’s stirring speech to the UK parliament summarising the devastating first 13 days of the Russia-Ukraine war and soliciting their help is unforgettable. 

Despite the speech being given in a foreign language, you can’t overlook the Ukrainian president’s passion, emotions, or persuasive body language cues. I strongly recommend you read John Zimmer’s insightful analysis of the speech to appreciate its potency. Zimmer is a nine-time European champion of Toastmasters’ public speaking contests and a TEDx Speaker. He’s also the co-creator of Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™, the world’s first public speaking board game played in businesses, schools, and homes around the world. Zimmer knows his onions.

II) Arnold Schwarzenegger’s viral video appealing to the Russian people to stop the war is an excellent mix of storytelling, warmth, logic, and building your case on common ground.

Unsurprisingly, the speech has garnered over one million views across various social media channels. Read Carmine Gallo’s fantastic analysis of the speech and note how the strong storytelling element and balanced viewpoint made it resonate with many. Gallo is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and communication advisor for leaders at the world’s most admired brands, so his insights would interest you.

Many fantastic speeches abound online where political leaders, writers, business icons, celebrities, and even ordinary people have been able to amass incredible support for their causes.

But what about the might of the pen, the keys of a mobile device, or the strokes of a laptop? The written word is not left out. From social media posts to global stirrings, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in 2014, the Black Lives Matter crusade (which was re-ignited following the death of George Floyd in 2020), and the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria in 2020 demonstrated that powerful writing could stir emotions and demand change. These movements affirm that simple, clean, persuasive writing is a skill that will serve you well – whatever your field.


Writing has led to incredible opportunities for me, which I listed in this post.

I ‘stumbled’ on to blogging that sunny day in March 2012. But my decade of writing has sharpened my skills, expanded my network, and enabled me to develop business relationships that still enrich my life.

A time will come when retiring my blog will be the next logical step. But until then, I’d continue to explore the fascinating world of business communication. I’d continue to hone my skills and knowledge in the process and share what I learn to help you become the best communicator in your circles.

So, how about another ten years of the Rethinking Business Communications Blog?

Breaking News: Global Gurus ranked Lucille Ossai #5 in communication for 2022!

Global Gurus, the prestigious research organisation, ranked me the #5 communication professional in 2022! I made my first appearance in the ranking this year. In this article, you may recall that I mentioned challenging the poor representation of Black professionals in Global Gurus’ ranking. In response, they provided a nomination link and advised me to share it in my networks so people could vote for me. Since I met other stringent criteria (being a published author, sharing original thought leadership pieces in my field etc.), I figured I should give it a shot. Then in February, I was informed I was selected!

Below is the email from Global Gurus informing me of my position in the ranking:

Email from Global Gurus

And below is the cool banner that you’d notice is proudly displayed on this blog:

Global Gurus award banner

Check out the screenshots of my profile in the communication ranking below:

Screenshot of ranking 1
Screenshot of ranking 2

View the list of all 30 communication professionals for 2022 here.

Thank you to all who voted for me. I appreciate your support. And I hope I can count on you when the voting cycle for next year begins in the last quarter of 2022.

Over to you:

Do you need help in boosting your communication skills to get results? Sign up here for my free quarterly newsletters and learn best practices. You’ll receive my evergreen resource on giving persuasive presentations when you sign up. Ensure you download that document and refer to it before any high-stakes presentation or speech.

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N.B: First image and third images are courtesy of Geralt via Pixabay. Second image is courtesy of Jan Kosmowski via Pixabay. Screenshots of the email and the Global Gurus ranking are courtesy of Lucille Ossai.

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